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Western, Favorite

1949 | 4:3 | COLOR | Quality: Excellent

Walter Brennan

Rod Cameron

Forrest Tucker



The formidable Courteen family of ranchers, led by old man Brimstone (Walter Brennan), refuse to accept the end of the open range and wage war against homesteaders, nesters, squatters, and the like by robbing stagecoaches of loot being transported for the interlopers. Suddenly, a mysterious new bandit appears on the scene and begins robbing the robbers! Johnny Tremaine (Rod Cameron) strolls into town and teams up with the local sheriff (Forrest Tucker) to help get some control of the situation. In the process he becomes involved in a split within the Courteen family concerning the youngest son, Bud (James Brown), who is in love with a nester, Molly Bannister (Adrian Booth). Tremaine has quite a task in unraveling the twisted plot, but by the end of the show a satisfactory resolution takes place with a few surprises along the way.

Director Joseph Kane made a career out of filming "B" Westerns, usually with John Wayne as his lead actor. Brimstone is probably one of his best works, although it and most of his other films are virtually forgotten now. Brimstone is an above-average western with plenty of a knock down, drag out fistfights, shootouts, and intrigue. Rod Cameron is well-cast as the lawman after a gang of thieves. The movie draws its title from the cunning patriarchal 'Pop' Courteen played brilliantly by Walter Brennan, who completely steals the show in a performance you will never forget. He presides over a family of ruthless, no-account outlaws played by seasoned heavies like Jack Lambert and Jim Davis. The plot is fairly linear with no intellectual pretensions, but it's a perfect distillation of all cowboy movies. Keeping with its reputation for delivering plenty of action, Republic makes sure there are fisticuffs and chases - a pleasing shoot-'em-up for fans of the genre!

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